tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC July 5, 2016 11:00pm-12:01am PDT
me the go obama trumps e-mail-gate. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm joy reid in for chris matthews. hillary clinton finally got the big moment she's been waiting for. campaigning for the first time with president obama this afternoon. the two even arrived in north carolina together on board air force one. president obama gave a fired-up
speech, throwing prodigious amounts of shade at donald trump without mentioning his name. >> everybody can tweet but nobody actually knows what it takes to do the job until you have sat behind the desk. i mean, sasha tweets. this is a choice between whether we are going to cling to some imaginary past or whether we're going to reach for the future. even the republicans on the other side don't really know what the guy's talking about. you ask them, they're all like i don't know. then they kind of duck the other way. >> by any measure, that would be considered a blockbuster event. we will have more on the president's big endorsement speech in the show. of course, it also comes on a day when there was also a big development in the seemingly never-ending hillary clinton e-mail saga. it came in the form of a midmorning surprise press conference by fbi director james comey. after nearly a year-long investigation that culminated in a 3 1/2 hour interview with clinton over the weekend, comey said the fbi would not recommend
criminal charges against the former secretary of state. >> although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case. in looking back at our investigations into the mishandling or removal of classified information, we cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts. as a result, although the department of justice makes final decisions on matters like this, we are expressing to justice our view that no charges are appropriate in this case. >> may not be appropriate but comey also delivered a forceful critique of hillary clinton's use of a private server. >> although we did not find clear evidence that secretary clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their
handling of very sensitive highly classified information. seven e-mail chains concerned matters that were classified at the top secret, special access program at the time they were sent and received. there is evidence to support a conclusion that any reasonable person in secretary clinton's position or in the position of those with whom she was corresponding about those matters, should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation. >> comey also faulted the security culture at the state department and he says it was at least possible that hostile actors gained access to clinton's e-mail account. clinton's spokesman said in a statement we are pleased the career officials handling this case have determined that no further action by the department is appropriate. as the secretary has long said it was a mistake to use her personal e-mail and she would not do it again. we are glad that this matter is now resolved. meanwhile, donald trump called what happened a total miscarriage of justice and tweeted fbi director said crooked hillary compromised our
national security, no charges, wow, rigged system. we are expecting to hear more from trump when he takes the stage at a campaign rally in north carolina. many republicans faulted comey for his decision not to recommend charges. speaker paul ryan said in a statement while i respect the law enforcement professionals at the fbi, this announcement defies explanation. no one should be above the law. declining to prosecute secretary clinton for recklessly mishandling and transmitting national security information will set a terrible precedent. nbc justice correspondent pete williams joins me with the latest. pete, you just heard that statement by paul ryan. is he correct that mr. comey, the fbi director comey, stated that there were violations of law and then didn't prosecute on them? >> more or less. what comey says is that there is some evidence that there were violations here but that you have to measure that against the standard here of have cases like this involving similar situations ever resulted in prosecutions and he said no. now, here's where i think you are going to hear a lot of disagreement. there are some former prosecutors who say the
statutes, yes, make it a crime to intentionally give classified information out or put it in a place where it doesn't belong, but also make it a crime to do so if it amounts to gross negligence. what some of the former prosecutors say is comey has rewritten the statute saying you have to have intent, not gross negligence. others say look at the record. nobody has ever been prosecuted when the information is given to someone who is legally qualified to have it. so that is a critical point on comey's side. this was information exchanged back and forth between people who actually had clearance so it's person a who has clearance to have the information gives it to person b, who has clearance but they use an unclassified conveyor belt to pass it along, that's where the potential violation comes in, but comey says that's not a case that should result in a prosecution. now, of course, as you began this with, it's his
recommendation, it's the justice department's final decision, but remember that attorney general loretta lynch has said she will go along with whatever the career prosecutors at justice say and tonight officials are saying it would be -- it's a virtual certainty they will accept the fbi's recommendation here. >> i want to talk a little bit about director comey. he's somebody that people may remember from the ashcroft situation where he essentially intervened to try to stop alberto gonzalez from going to the bedside of an ailing a.g. ashcroft in the case of warrantless wiretapping. he isn't somebody who doesn't have a sterling reputation in washington. donald trump is trying to call him a partisan apologist for hillary clinton. >> i like that question. we have been covering james comey for what, 20 years. now suddenly everybody has discovered james comey and wants to know what's the deal with him. he's a former u.s. attorney in new york. you may remember that he filed criminal charges against martha stewart which was somewhat controversial. the question was was she doing improper trading and she was prosecuted for misleading the fbi investigating that.
he was the deputy attorney general in the bush administration under john ashcroft, the attorney general. he left the govement to go into private practice as general counsel for an aerospace firm, then was persuaded to come back and be the fbi director. that's a ten-year position and he's three or four years into it. >> he threatened to resign over attempts to interfere with the work he was doing during that warrantless wiretapping situation. he's got a pretty good reputation. pete williams, thank you very much. i'm joined by howard
fineman, global editorial director for the huffington post and msnbc political analyst and susan page, washington bureau chief for "usa today" . howard, to you first on this. what in your mind is the balance of good day, not so good day, in this news about the hillary clinton e-mails? >> well, if at the end of that pretty long excoriation of hillary clinton and the state department and james comey had said and we are recommending indictment, can you imagine, the whole world would have been turned upside down in an already chaotic campaign season would have been turned into a version of the apocalypse 2016. what would the democrats have done? who would they have chosen? how would they have proceeded? well, that sort of apocolyptic story line, that version of history can now be put aside. so the good news for hillary clinton is, it's true i think that the justice professionals will not disagree with comey, the fact is that she wasn't indicted and that's the bottom line legally. politically, i think what comey said today does nothing to allay
the two big problems hillary clinton has on the personal side of her campaign. number one, the trust factor is very weak with her. current polls, some current polls show that donald trump is more trusted personally than she is. number two, it's this notion that somehow the system is rigged. the people who hate hillary are already going to hate her. some independent voters may still go for that the system is rigged argument that donald trump is making and i think trump will be playing that card as hard and as long as he possibly can. >> susan, this does come on the same day that president obama gave that really sort of epically praiseful speech. i haven't seen a sitting president give that kind of an
endorsement to their sort of anointed successor in my lifetime because presidents haven't had that close of a relationship really. how much does that balance out what you saw earlier with the comey announcement, barack obama coming out with this full-throated defense of hillary clinton today or endorsement of her? >> some people thought this was terrible timing because the comey announcement kind of muddied the clarity of president obama's message but maybe it was helpful to her because as you said, maybe it kind of trumped the earlier news. we have not seen in modern times a two-term president who was either willing or able to give kind of the full-throated endorsement that president obama is giving hillary clinton and that is very helpful because for one thing, he's popular enough to make a difference. he's popular enough among some voter groups that she needs some help with, like young people. so that is enormously helpful. but i would have to say with the comey announcement, of course she avoid catastrophe by not being indicted but he was at odds with the explanation she has given the american people about how the e-mail server operated and she turned over all the business e-mails and just deleted personal ones. so there are things, this isn't an issue that's settled but i think you would agree that president obama can do hillary clinton a lot of good in this election. >> absolutely. i want to play a little more from the joint appearance they had today. i mentioned hillary clinton and president obama did do this first joint campaign event this
afternoon and both spent a lot of time going after one donald trump. let's take a listen. >> but i've also known him as a friend that i was honored to stand with in the good times and the hard times. someone who has never forgotten where he came from and donald, if you're out there tweeting, it's hawaii. >> but i'm here today. because i believe in hillary clinton. hillary understood and continues to understand that just a bunch of tough talk doesn't replace the hard work of diplomacy. a bunch of phony bluster doesn't keep us safe. this is not entertainment. this is real. you can't be reckless, you don't have the luxury of just saying whatever pops in your head. you have actually got to know what you're talking about. >> you know, howard, i do find it really important that you see this moment of the two of them talking about each other as a friend. barack obama expressing great trust in hillary clinton even as
he's ridiculing the other guy. but how important is that validation? because if the question is do you trust hillary clinton, but you also really like barack obama and he trusts hillary clinton, that's got to be helpful to her, right? >> yeah. i think that for hillary's sake, if you are a hillary supporter, you hope this is only the first of many carefully selected, strategic, not overdone because you don't want barack obama on the campaign trail every day with air force one, but i think he can be enormously helpful to her on the trust factor question. the question about is the system rigged, that's donald trump's thing and he's going to make whatever he can out of it. i must say, i have to wonder if james -- if president obama didn't know or have at least some inkling of what james comey was going to say, before he scheduled that trip with hillary to north carolina, can you imagine what the story would have been like had comey gone
the other way. so trump will be playing those conspiracy theories out there but if barack obama can reassure likely democratic voters like the sanders supporters, young people as susan was saying, that they can trust hillary because they can trust him, those kinds of things don't always transfer but these two people are close enough that i think it might make a difference. >> i can't imagine what the conversation would have been like on that flight between staff had that comey announcement gone a different way and they were already on their way to north carolina to give that speech. i'm sure everybody all the way around was quite happy the way this came out. i think we will bring you back. thank you much. we appreciate it. coming up, much more on donald trump's reaction to the fbi decision today not to recommend charges against hillary clinton. trump will be taking the stage in a few minutes in north carolina. just as he finds himself mired in another controversy of his own. plus with a deeply unpopular candidate on the republican ticket, could the libertarians make noise in november?
gary johnson will be with us tonight. we saw today why president obama is hillary clinton's not so secret weapon in his campaign rally with clinton, the president offered a full-throated defense of his former secretary of state and full-on skewery of donald trump. the "hardball" roundtable weigh ns on our top story of the day. while the threat of criminal charges may be over, the political fire storm surrounding hillary clinton's e-mails won't go away.
we continue to wait for donald trump to take the stage in north carolina. as we wait, we have two new general election polls to tell you about. let's check the "hardball" score card. according the an nbc news online poll, hillary clinton leads donald trump by five points. similar story in a new "usa today" poll where clinton's lead is six. clinton 46, trump 40.
welcome back to "hardball." fbi director james comey's recommendation not to indict hillary clinton today will likely spare the presumptive democratic nominee from criminal charges but the decision has been scooped up by donald trump to help him continue making his case that the system is rigged. we continue to wait for trump to take the stage at a rally in north carolina tonight where senator bob corker of tennessee is also joining the candidate amid speculation about a possible place on trump's ticket. it is confirmed tonight that corker is being vetted. we are joined by michael steele, former chairman of the rnc. steve, i will start with you. how much is the corker speculation and the speculation about all these other potential veeps an attempt to distract folks from the news of the last 24 hours about donald trump's tweeting life? >> i don't think that was on purpose. it's just a matter of timing. his tweeting life stands on its own. the story about comey takes away trump's biggest attack on
hillary clinton. he talks about the system being rigged but this is going to fade out over the course of the summer. come september when donald trump wants to bring this back to life again he'll have to spend lots and lots of money doing it. the problem is he's having trouble raising money. >> as a matter of fact, michael, they are still trying to go out through text feeds, trying to raise money. they don't really have the cash if they want to make this case. is there a possibility some outside group is going to want to burn money attempting to use the hillary clinton e-mail gate against her after it's already started to fade? >> i think, yeah, there may be some who may want to play with that at least initially to raise money on top of this event but i think steve's right. in the end it will be a longer summer in that regard where you will pick it up again after labor day. there may be some interest to do something there but whether that comes from the trump campaign remains to be seen.
again, trump doesn't need to raise money to do that. he can just tweet about it or talk about it and it will be in the news cycle. for other groups they may have to struggle a little on the money side but i don't think trump will care one way or the other with regard to raising money to talk about this. >> in his rallies last month, trump said clinton is guilty and should go to jail but also said he has great confidence in the fbi. let's take a listen. >> i think she should be in jail for what she did with her e-mails, okay? she should be in jail. folks, honestly, she's guilty as hell. she's guilty as hell. we'll see. we'll see what happens. i don't know. i've always had great confidence in the fbi, i must tell you. i have great respect. i know some fbi folks. i always had great confidence in them. i can't believe they would let this go. >> steve, if he is a guy who is supposed to be in favor of law enforcement and spoken so glowingly about law enforcement and comey is not a hack. comey is a very well respected republican prosecutor. he really doesn't have much room to grow for this, right? >> several weeks ago, a lot of conservative pundits were
talking about what a man of integrity comey was, he was going to take his time, he was going to have long research and do the job right. now people say he did the job right. we are going into the republican convention in two weeks. the delegates will have to pick the best candidate to defeat hillary clinton. the problem we have right now is that donald trump's biggest issue with hillary was just taken away from him. he's not galvanizing the republican party. he needs to energize the republican conservative base, needs to pull the party together. that's what he has to focus on. not sending out tweets that are flipping everybody out, not worrying about calling hillary clinton a crook. >> yep. >> galvanize the republican conservative base. >> trump continues to deflect accusations of antisemitism after defending his campaign's decision to tweet an attack on
hillary clinton featuring her, a star of david and piles of money. the image was lifted from a user who has a history of posting bigoted tweets and was posted on a white supremacist website. there is no known connection between the twitter user and the trump campaign. while the campaign removed the star, within hours, they maintain it's really just a sheriff's badge. michael, is that the weirdest explanation you have ever heard? >> i guess it worked some where. no, it's a little weird. we all know what a sheriff's badge looks like, a five pointed star, not a six pointed star, but okay. go with that. but i think trump right now, i agree with steve, put the twitter down, dude. let's focus on getting ready for a kicker of a convention, get the party organized and rallied behind you. there will be enough substantive stuff out there to go after hillary clinton on. you don't need to play in this particular yard right now. >> to that very point, house speaker paul ryan once again forced to react to a donald trump controversy. he was on wisconsin radio saying trump has to quote clean it up. take a listen. >> look, antisemetic images, they have no place in a presidential campaign. candidates should know that. the tweet has been deleted. i don't know what flunky put
this up there. they obviously have to fix that. as you know, i was -- one of the few times i spoke out against him during the primary very forcefully was in this area. when he failed to disavow white supremacists. i understand this is done by staff, not by he himself but more importantly, they have to clean this thing up. >> these are tweets that are going out on the real donald trump twitter account, going out from his account. i can't imagine how republicans react if hillary clinton retweeted a white supremacist, he's done it over and over again. it's not the first time. what do you suppose is at work here? you don't accidentally wind up on the praise where neo-nazis are tweeting images of stars of david and hillary clinton. you don't accidentally do that. what do you think is going on that he keeps treading into this territory? >> a complete and utter lack of
judgment which you can't have in a presidential campaign. i was mayor of a small town for 12 years. a small town mayor, councilman did something like that, you would have to resign from office. in a presidential campaign, this is just a total lack of judgment. they should take his phone away and not allow him to tweet anymore. best thing that could happen to this campaign. nothing good is coming out of these tweets. there's another problem. some people will speculate that that twitter message was a dog whistle to that antisemetic base. i hope that's not the case. i don't believe it's days. unfortunately it creates these illusions about these campaign. >> you have already had neo-nazi groups, the alt right groups saying we own it, we think donald trump is dog whistling at us. >> yeah. they do. i'm sure they think that. i agree with steve, i don't think this is something deliberate on the campaign, certainly on donald trump's part, to really play to that. i think what he sees is look, he's taking every means and measure available to get voters to the polls. at the end of the day, my sense is that's the driver here.
he doesn't care ultimately where you are standing right now, november, he just needs you in a ballot box. so this is part of that effort. it is a dog whistle in that regard. i don't think it's playing the racist elements per se. unfortunately, what it does, though, it does elevate them into a national conversation with our nominee and our party and for that, we are all experiencing a great deal of angst. angina. >> you may not think he's doing it, but they think he's doing it. >> they do. they do. >> in politics, perception is reality. >> exactly. >> donald trump's son-in-law just released a statement to nbc news.
quote, my father-in-law is an incredibly loving and tolerant person who has embarked -- embraced my family and our judaism since i began dating my wife. i know donald does not at all subscribe to any racist or antisemetic thinking. i personally see him embrace people of all racial and religious backgrounds. the suggestion he may be intolerant is not reflective of the donald trump i know. >> and stop with the tweets. >> thank you both very much. let's take a look at donald trump. >> thank you very much. wow. look at that. i love you. i love you, north carolina. i love you. unbelievable. you know, it's an incredible thing.
the system is rigged but we're still happy to be together, right? it's totally rigged. what a system. what a group. i'll tell you what. what's going on. we are going to be talking about it but before i do, a great friend of mine, somebody respected by everybody, senator bob corker. come on up, bob. come on up. >> i wasn't going to say anything. i just came to visit. but i have to tell you something. the rallies that i have back home aren't quite like this. >> pretty good. >> pretty cool.
yeah. this is unbelievable, isn't it? had a pretty remarkable day today. pretty remarkable day. you know, it says a lot about a person to meet their family. spend time with their kids, if you will, ivanka and eric and their son-in-law, and to be around the people that have worked in the trump organization for 25 and 30 years, to see the respect that they have for the person they have worked with, the father and father-in-law that they have. to see how he treats the people that are around him. so many times in these
campaigns, people become caricatures of what the media makes them and all too often, after a race is over, people realize they never really knew the person. somebody once told me it's not who you know in life, it's how you know them. and i had the incredible privilege today to spend time with this man, to spend time with his family, and to spend time with those who know him so well, and i figured out the reason that you love him so much is because -- [ applause ] >> i'm taking up his time. let me just say this. the reason you love him so much is because he loves you. he loves you. he wants the best for you. the republican nominee for
president, donald trum >> great guy. great guy. great person. so i have to tell you a few things. numbers just came out, just now. number one, we're doing very well in the polls. that's important, okay? very well. very, very well. but you know, the numbers just came out that during the primary system, during the primaries, the republicans i wonder why were up 62%, the democrats were down 21%. these are final numbers. just came out. that tells you a little bit, a little bit, about what's going on. and what's going on very big and very big league is what you witnessed today and over the
last week, from bill clinton going to the plane, just happened to be there, just happened to be there, i wonder how long he waited. but for bill clinton to go to the plane and then to have what happened today where essentially i thought, everybody thought based on what was being said, she was guilty. she was guilty. and it turned out that we're not going to press charges. it's really amazing. but i'll tell you, i'll tell you, we have a rigged system, folks. hey, i used to say it during the primaries, we're all together, i won north carolina big league because of you. big league. and not only did the republican party go way up from what it was four years ago, way, way up, but donald trump in the history of the primary system, republican
party, with 17 people running, a lot of people don't understand, when you say 17 people, i got almost 14 million votes, more than anybody in the history of the republican party. more than ronald reagan. more than the bushs. more than richard nixon. more than dwight d. eisenhower, who did win the second world war. certainly helped a heck of a lot. we got the highest vote count in the history of the republican party. that was such a big thing for me. we won 37 states. i mean, and just got stronger and stronger and stronger. and i think we're stronger now than ever before. we are fighting a very dishonest media. do we have a protester? get him out, please. [ cheers and applause ] >> we love our protesters, don't we?
it's the only time i get the cameras to turn. the only time we get those cameras to turn. look at the size of this place. this is really great. this is really great. get him out. get him out. get him out. all right. thank you. thank you. that's all right. take it easy. take it easy, folks. you know, if i could speak to these people for a little while, what do we want when you think of it?
we want good education, we want a strong military, we want strong borders, we do want the wall, we want to keep our jobs in north carolina. we want to keep our jobs in north carolina. i mean, look at what's going on, folks. we're going to build a wall. don't worry. who's going to pay for the wall? who's going to pay? i didn't hear you. who's going to pay? better believe it. they're going to pay. they'll be happy to pay if the right person asks them, they're going to be happy to pay. no problem. if the wrong person like crooked hillary clinton asks them, they're not going to pay but she's never going to ask. she's never going to ask and i'll tell you why. when it comes to trade, and i just got a list of companies that have left north carolina and they have gone down to mexico and it's a disgrace, what's happening. it is a disgrace what's happening.
we're going to stop it. it's not going to happen any longer. we're losing our jobs. we're losing our manufacturing. we're going to stop the nonsense that's going on and it's so easy to stop. we will stop it so fast, your heads will spin. remember that. your heads will spin. so we'll talk a little bit about trade later. it's so easy. the trade is so easy, folks. it's so easy. the trade of all of them. we're going to knock the hell out of isis. we have, by the way, by the way, we have a president who's out campaigning for crooked hillary clinton and he should be home working on isis where the threat is getting worse and worse. he should be working on trade. he should be working on the borders. people are flowing into our country from lots of places, but from syria, no more.
no more. okay? they're not coming. no more. we don't know who they are. we don't know where they come from. they have no documentation. they have no paperwork. and who knows, who knows. but you know what? we can't take any more chances, folks. we can't take any more chances. if you look at crooked hillary, she wants to increase the immigrants coming in from syria, again, they could be isis. this could be -- this could be the all time great trojan horse. you know the story of the trojan horse. this could be the all-time great -- look at what one person, one person has done in orlando. just take a look. one person. look at the horror that that person has wreaked on our country.
the gay community. the lgbt community was just, they cannot -- nobody can even fathom what took place. that's one bad apple. we have many people coming in and you know what? it just takes a small percentage but there's something going on and guess what? we have a leader that doesn't even want to discuss the name of the problem, and the problem is radical islamic terrorism. and it's a problem. it's a problem. >> all right. that's donald trump at a campaign rally in raleigh, north carolina. he took the stage alongside tennessee senator bob corker who nbc news confirmed is being vetted to be trump's running mate. joining me, tonight's roundtable. eli is a national political reporter for politico, molly is political writer for the atlantic and perry bacon jr. is senior political reporter, nbc news. molly, to you first. what we have seen there is sort of what we have seen before. donald trump plays the hits, right? he has five or six things he
says in each rally he does, build a wall, everybody cheers, ejects a protester, everybody cheers. he goes into his soliloquy about isis and how great he is, et cetera. this is really the 1.0 donald trump. he really hasn't changed anything at all over the course of this campaign despite how much republicans want him to. it doesn't appear that he can. am i reading that wrong? >> well, i was actually surprised that he spent so little time on hillary clinton and her e-mails and on what happened with director comey this morning. i think donald trump 1.0 would have leaned into that a lot harder and repeated a lot of conspiracy theories about it. for donald trump this actually counts as staying on message to as you said, say ten things we have already heard him say before and not to go into a full-on lying crooked hillary, vince foster rant. he actually was -- seemed somewhat restrained to my ears. i guess that's the bar we set for trump. i thought we have spent more time on it. >> eli, the conspiracy theories that donald trump has gone into
back from when he was a birther on forward to all these sort of conspiracy ideas, this way of looking at the world, to molly's point, this was one opportunity for him to really dive into that, to get really con spear toral about james comey. what does it say he hasn't gone full trump on that? >> it speaks to the lack of discipline of his messaging and focus overall. his message still seems aimed at the republican base, at the primary audience. he's in a general election fight now. he could have gone out and read verbatim the transcript from director comey's press conference this morning and that would have been incredibly effective. he's playing the hits but sort of scattershot around his favorite issues and laugh lines and applause lines. he's not really going at hillary clinton. you hear a lot of republicans saying god, what more conventional candidate, nominee,
would be doing with this right now, jeb bush or marco rubio. they would be just going at hillary. it really is amazing that he sort of brushed by this, said it's a rigged system, folks, and then went right into the riff about the wall. >> interesting because i wonder how much that speaks to he has had this default of supporting law enforcement, comey, the ultimate sort of law enforcement figure. to the point that was just made by eli and molly, this is donald trump getting free media. he's getting an opportunity to go on all the cable networks that will play his remarks live. this was his chance to really do what he can't afford to do with money because they are not raising a lot of money. if donald trump doesn't take this opportunity, this free media time, to go after hillary clinton in the way that a conventional republican candidate would, and he's not raising money, he can't do it that way, doesn't this sort of e-mail scandal, e-mail gate, go nowhere as an issue? >> we will see what he does at the convention and going further. but like eli said, today, director comey basically criticized sharply hillary clinton for about 15 minutes on
national television. i was surprised that trump did not use any of those comments. comey suggested hillary clinton was misleading the public in some ways about the scandal and trump sort of ignored that. >> let's go back. he is going after president obama apparently. >> and why is he allowed to come down, get on that very very very expensive plane, you know he talks about the carbon footprint, okay? he wants to solve the carbon footprint but he gets on an old boeing 747 that's spewing stuff into the air, he gets her on the plane and then they say we will fight for the environment. we will fight for the carbon footprint. then he gets back on to the boeing 747, goes back to washington. his greatest, his greatest was when he wanted to play golf in
hawaii, so he takes the 747, by the way, he's played more rounds just about than people that play professionally on the pga tour. i mean, this guy. and he gets on this plane, flies to hawaii, he's there for a long time, golf, golf, golf, golf, more, more, learning how to chip, learning how to hit the drive, learning how to putt, i want more. our country's going to hell. isis is laughing at us. they are chopping off heads. they are drowning people in steel cages. and he's out there playing golf with just about as long a trip as you can make from washington. then after a long extended vacation, he gets back on the plane, flies back, lands, starts talking about the environment. okay, give me a break, folks. give me a break.
give me a break. now, you know, we need unity in the republican party. i have to be honest. i think i win without the unity. but we need unity in the republican party. for the most part, we have unity. we have some pretty good stuff. and we have some great people like bob, who just came out. and so many others. so many senators, so many congressmen. >> all right. as we listen to donald trump at his rally going after president obama. perry, i see this as sort of schtick. he's saying this about president obama in a comediy way. for purposes of contrast, play president obama because he too used humor to point up the differences between hillary clinton and donald trump. he did somewhat of that as well but did it in a very different way. let's listen to president obama talking about donald trump. >> this election, you are going to have a very clear choice to
make between two fundamentally different visions of where america should go, and this isn't even really a choice between left and right or democrat or republican. this is a choice between whether we are going to cling to some imaginary past or whether we are going to reach for the future. this is about whether we have an america that works for everybody or just a few people. >> you know, perry, forget the contrast between hillary clinton and donald trump. talk a little about that contrast as people see this president in his final year with that kind of charisma, that manner of speaking, and even when he was making jokes about donald trump, the way he does it
versus what we just heard from donald trump. >> trump is obviously a lot more personal in his attacks although the president did make fun of trump, suggested trump wants to govern by twitter and so on. what's interesting is a campaign about those two in some ways more than secretary clinton. last week, trump gave this very aggressive speech saying globalization is killing america, trade deals are killing america, immigration is a big problem in america, and the president is very much a globalist person, views the world as one that's more effective, he thinks trade deal and immigration are positive. in some ways we moved to almost an obama versus trump campaign. >> let's listen to a little more of president obama. i think that's an interesting point you make. let's listen to president obama talk about another issue, the issue that has probably catapulted donald trump into the mainstream of the republican party that's made him the nominee more than anything else is immigration. let's listen to president obama riffing on that earlier today. >> for years the republicans who run this congress, they talk a good game about immigration reform, then they don't do anything. and now they have picked a nominee whose only plan is to
build a higher wall. that's not a plan. no, no, no, no. hold on a second. i was waiting for this opportunity. don't boo. vote. >> molly, the president does use that line, don't boo, vote, a lot. but he's sort of ridiculing the very sort of foundation of the trump campaign. this whole build a wall thing, what he gets the whoops for at his rallies. >> i think there's a clear contrast on immigration and the president is highlighting that. president obama takes this personally as a matter of his legacy. it's about more for him than just his relationship with hillary clinton. we have seen ever since the state of the union address at the beginning of this year that he has seen the way donald trump is campaigning as an affront to his world view and as everything that he's campaigned on since eight years ago. i think we saw throughout that speech that he gave on behalf of hillary clinton not just a very
strong sort of character reference on her behalf which is extraordinary for a sit twog-time president but a defense of himself and legacy he feels is under attack. >> i wonder if you are talking about voters, both parties do have this feint to the middle where they are trying to get that elusive voter in the middle. they look at these contrasts, donald trump doing this raw populism saying the country's in decline, in terrible shape, retweeting odd racially and religiously offensive people and living almost in the comments section as a campaign, then you have president obama with this vision of what he's created, this america that's so outrages the base of the trump campaign. where's the middle? in your reporting, where is that voter in the middle? which of these polls will they cling to? >> sometimes it can seem like there is no middle left in american politics, especially
when you cover donald trump's campaign. there is still a middle. there are still voters in the same nine or ten states that are going to determine the outcome of this election. i think the president has a voice that still speaks to them. there's a reason that his approval rating has been going up over the last couple months. donald trump may be the biggest reason for that. i think usually, you don't see a two-term president out there on the stump for his party's nominee to succeed him and you are going to see it a lot this fall because the president still has some appeal. the democrats need him to turn out that democratic base. the obama coalition. and because i think those voters in the middle, donald trump continues to offer a lot of divisive, very populist but nationalist rhetoric and the president is selling more optimistic, more hopeful, more forward-looking and that is something you look at the formula, i think the clinton campaign will be just fine if it's president obama and clinton running together rather than clinton out front. the less voters may see of clinton and the more they see of obama may be fine with the folks in brooklyn. >> interesting that that's the case. if that's the case, how ironic that this is taking place today in north carolina because i
think we all remember in 2014, a lot of these red state democrats including in states like north carolina, didn't want president obama anywhere near them and today, you now have a lot of down ballot candidates wanting president obama to be there, wanting him to stand with them including in a state like north carolina that was so narrow when president won it and when he lost it. >> right. you have seen a different campaign. the 2014 democrats tried to run this idea we don't want to be anywhere near president obama, you had one say she wouldn't vote for him. today, deborah ross, who is running for the senate in north carolina and roy cooper, who is running for governor, both of them came to the event today and spoke before president obama and hillary clinton. tells me the democratic party views themselves as fused together. their argument, i know particularly in a state like that, you really need the high turnout of the obama coalition. not just for hillary clinton to
win but also for the down ballot candidates to win as well. also notable contrast, richard burr, pat mccrory, the senator and governor of north carolina, are not with bob corker and donald trump tonight. that and donald trump tonight. that tells you the republican down-ballot candidates a little more wary of their nominee than the democrats right now. >> that's right. donald trump is having a hard time scaring up republicans to stand next to him. i want to talk about this question of money. you have north carolina, a state that president obama won by about 14,000 votes in 2008. he only lost it by about 98,000. if the democrats can make republicans sweat in a state like north carolina, and donald trump is not raising money, how much of a crisis is that going to turn out to be for the gop? >> a lot of senior republicans fear it's a very severe crisis and they will not be able to support their senate and gubernatorial candidates in a lot of these swing states, if the presidential candidate, number one, doesn't have a campaign to speak of, that is raising money, and number two, is a drag on the ticket. i do think you're going to see, if this pattern continues into
the fall, a lot of efforts to support the down ballot candidates rather than the presidential ticket. there are a lot of republicans who feel like they have to give up on trump in favor of supporting the rest of the party's candidates if trump is not going to pull his weight financially. >> thank you all, appreciate it. we continue to watch donald trump deliver what has largely been his stump speech in north carolina. up next, could we see a significant vote for the libertarian ticket in november? gary johnson is coming along with bill weld, this is "hardball," the place for politics.
welcome back to "hardball." the current political landscape is turbulent at best. the latest nbc news/"wall street journal" poll says 71% of voters show the country is on the wrong track. could that be good news for the libertarian party? the former popular republican governors johnson and weld are popping up everywhere. >> this libertarian is ready for america. >> vote for gary johnson. >> gary johnson is running for president. how are you? >> i'm great. >> it appears that donald trump is now talking about hillary and the e-mails. let's listen in. >> -- and you're guilty. serious stuff. we're talking about the life blood of our country.
we're talking about the safety of our people, the laws are very explicit. stupidity is not a reason that you're going to be innocent. okay? it's not a reason. and i don't happen to believe that it was stupidity. but even stupidity is not a reason. and, boy, what they've done. so i wrote this out, and i'm going to read some of it to you. and i think it makes sense. and i think it's important for us to understand. today is the best evidence ever that we've seen that our system is absolutely, totally rigged. it's rigged. and i used that term initially when i was running in the republican primaries, and i was the first to use it, then all of a sudden it became a hot term.
everybody was using the word, rigged, rigged, rigged! then louisiana, i didn't get enough delegates, what happened! and places like colorado which was so good to me, but then we find out they don't have the vote. okay, i used the word rigged. frankly if i didn't win in landslides, i wouldn't be standing up here, you'd be watching some politician who would lose to hillary clinton, believe me. believe me. i learned about rigged very fast, but i used the term rigged. then bernie started using it and now everybody talks about it. but i'm going to keep using it because i was the one that brought it up. i asked a couple of political pros, ever hear the word rigged? it has to be used somewhere along the line, but it hasn't. who is the most angry about this? i think the one with the most to lose is bernie sanders. honestly, he was waiting for the fbi primary, and guess what, he
just lost today the fbi primary! he lost the fbi primary! bernie, my poor bernie, oh, bernie, i feel so badly for bernie. but, you know what, a lot of bernie sanders' supporters are going to be voting for trump. because bernie sanders was right. bernie sanders was right about a couple of things. he's right about the system being rigged, but he's also right about trade. our trade deals are a disaster. they're killing our jobs. they're killing our families. they're killing our incomes. i mean, people in this room, many people in this room, and i'm going to fight for you, because there's going to be change fast. many people in this room are making less money today than they made 18 years ago, effectively.
and they're working two jobs instead of one, and this horrible, stupid obamacare is a killer, which is giving them part time employment, when they never had part time employment in their lives. and the premiums are through the roof, and the deductibles are so high that you'll never be able to use it unless you die a very vicious, long, slow death. okay? and it's going to explode in '17 anyway, and we're going to replace it before it explodes. and we're going to replace it -- >> that's donald trump criticizing the decision today by fbi director james comey not to recommend charges for hillary clinton's e-mail. he said the system is rigged. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. much more throughout the night on msnbc. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now.
tonight on "all in" -- >> there has never been any man or woman more qualified for this office than hillary clinton. >> the 2016 odyssey continues. >> everybody can tweet, but nobody actually knows what it takes to do the job until you've sat behind the desk. >> a team of rivals reunites. >> he knows a thing or two about winning elections, take it from me. >> hours after the fbi recommends no charges for hillary clinton. >> we are expressing to justice our view that no charges are appropriate in this case. >> tonight, full analysis of today's epic announcement from james comey and what the president's fired-up campaign speech means for hillary. and the republican response. >> we have a rigged system, folks.